(Facey and Roberts square off at the UCMMA weigh-ins. Image by Dave Lethaby)
At the recent Ultimate Challenge ‘Never Back Down’ event, in what many would have argued what was fight of the night, Bandogs’ Jamaine Facey (5-4) submitted Dyson Roberts (3-2) in the second round to decide who was the better man and conclude what had been a bitter rivalry.
“It wasn’t my best performance but it was a good win,” remarked Facey of the contest. “I had to win; not for money or anything like that, but it was more of a reputation thing with East vs. West. He started running his mouth and wanted to make it into a so called ‘grudge match.’ That was fine by me. I enjoyed it; it was fantastic! All my boys were down there as well.”
In the run up to the bout, many words were exchanged by the two fighters, and it seemed there was a genuine hatred between the two. Jamaine confirmed this was the case. He said,
“I wanted to show my level of skill was better than what he thinks his is. To me, he was a merchandise fighter. He went on that ‘Fighting Hurts’ show, fighting guys at his own level and got full of himself. You don’t know how many people were just coming out of the woodwork and saying, “fuck him up”. He walks around as if he’s the best in the world, and you’ve got to be humble and grateful that you’re taking part in such a wonderful sport. People are paying to watch you, and you’ve got to understand where you’re coming from. He walks around with an arrogant attitude towards people; at least that’s what I felt and other people told me. I’m happy.”
Facey is also content that he thinks he’s shut Roberts up, at least for now. “Actions speak louder than words, so when he watches it he’ll see how he didn’t really do anything,” declared the Bandogs man. “There were plenty of times he was actually in a good position to rain down strikes and do whatever he thought he could do to me and he could do nothing. It was like I hadn’t been in a fight; I had no scratches, no bruises, no nothing; I had a sore knee but that’s about it. I had his blood all over me. I could have done more. That fight wasn’t really to show any kind of technical skill, but I just really wanted to beat him up. I didn’t really think about keeping my hands up and throwing a proper straight jab. It was a lazy technical fight but an exciting fight for the fans.
“He had balls and did better than I thought he would, so I’m not going to take that away from him,” continued the Ultimate Challenge mainstay. “He did turn me over a couple of times and landed some strikes and kicks, and he did do well, but I could see as soon as I got in the cage and looked into his eyes, he was hollow. There was no beast in there and I could tell he was in deep water straight away. Once you ask for a fight, you can’t turn back and you’ve got to go for it; win, lose or draw you’ve got to really try, and he tried his best.”
One thing evident in this fight was Facey’s solid ground game; something critics have claimed he didn’t have. “It’s always been there but in most of my fights I haven’t really had the chance to show it,” he said of his skills on the floor. “With the two fights I lost by rear naked choke to Lee Doski; in the first one the referee fucked up, and he stopped the fight when I was just protecting my neck and waiting for Doski to actually do something, because he was in the best position, but couldn’t finish the fight. In the second one, he won fair and square from the same position. Hats off to Lee; he’s an experienced fighter, been fighting longer than me and has had twice the amount of fights I’ve had. I think he’s a lovely guy and a nice chap in and outside the cage.
“I love the ground game; I enjoy it,” flowed Jamaine. “I love stand-up as well, but I’ve neglected my stand-up since I started MMA because I was learning the ground work mainly. In my last couple of fights though, I’ve been trying to work the stand up more and get that back on track. I’m always learning.”
After this good win, many doors have been opened for Facey, and he’s happy to fight anyone that’s put in front of him. He told, “I’ll fight anyone who Dave [O’Donnell, Ultimate Challenge promoter] wants to give me. He just needs to tell me someone wants to fight me and the fight’s on. Dyson was trying to eat from me. He was trying to use my name to get him further and that’s fair enough. It’s what we’ve all got to do. I didn’t earn any credibility by fighting guys worse than myself. I like to fight guys I know are better than me; just like he chose to fight me. That will progress me in the MMA rankings. Going forward, beating Dyson was just for the grudge match, so really it was good for that. But for skill level and moving up in the rankings, I’m still fifth, so it didn’t mean anything to me really. I want to fight people better than me and higher than me. Anyone who Dave gives me, I’ll be happy to fight them.”
The welterweight is also highly ambitious, and wants to show the world what British mixed martial artists can offer. “I’d be happy to go over to Japan or America, and my goal is like anyone else’s goal; to go and fight for one of the big organisations like Strikeforce, UFC or DREAM or any of them big boys because that’s where the money is,” he pointed out. “Sometimes, people like my girlfriend think I just like rolling around getting punched and kicked, but I’m doing this because I want to improve my livelihood, income and everything else. My goal is to move off and show UK MMA in other countries, and the level we’re at. I’m learning every day, and that’s where I want to get to. My target right now is the Ultimate Challenge welterweight belt. My goal is to get that belt. I need to win all my fights to do that, and I’ll be looking and asking questions.”
A boring fight is something that Jamaine hopes never to be involved in either. “Sometimes, guys are paying £60, £70, £80, £90 or even £100 for their tickets, and you can’t go there and just take a guy down, look to smother him and just get the win,” he opined. “There’s a lot of guys and teams who I don’t want to mention right now and that’s all their gameplan is – they shoot, get the takedown and smother to win the fight. I like to entertain and give people what they’re paying for. We can stand up a bit, then express the art of MMA on the ground. There’s fighters out there with 10-0 records, but they’ve fought nobodies. They pick and choose easy opponents just to get their ‘W.’ I’d rather have quality fighters whether I’ve won, lost or drawn against them than fight bums who don’t mean anything.”
A true student of the arts, Facey tries to insert things into his game all the time. “Every day I pick up something and learn,” he revealed. “I watch fights all the time and guys that are better than me, not better than me or in different countries; I just look and see what I can take and adapt and put into my skills.”
Mixed martial arts is important on a number of levels for Jamaine though, as he explained. “My motto is ‘Hands up, Guns down.’ That’s what it’s all about,” said the ever-improving 170 pounder. “There’s a lot of kids out there dying or killed, and I’m always trying to tell everyone it’s about hands up and putting the guns down, because a lot of kids die over stupid, silly things. The more we can get kids off the street and doing something correct like MMA, which isn’t just Jiu Jitsu, it’s boxing, Muay Thai and wrestling, it’s better for everybody. Everybody’s welcome to come down to Bandogs down at Rooney’s Gym in London Bridge, because that’s where we’re at.”